Tired Of Burning My Candle At Both Ends I Tossed It Into The Fire Now Look At Me Burn

My diet has really gone to hell over the past few weeks because of my reaction to this whole “EMDR” experience… and it’s just happenstance but changing medications just before starting off on a light jaunt through my most significant clinical depressions was probably not the smartest plan I’ve ever had.

As a result of the latter I’m pretty sure I’m going back on the Seroquel in November. My extremely high blood sugar counts, which were almost cut in half this past Spring by the Glyburide, have remained the same since stopping the Seroquel a week ago.

Because one of it’s rarer side effects is actually type-2 diabetes, the plan to stop taking the Seroquel had been in the works for the five months since I was diagnosed with diabetes. We were just deciding on something suitable as a replacement of sorts… but I missed two of my twice-monthly appointments and my psychiatrist took his vacation, so it only happened recently.

I’m using 15mgs of Remeron RD (tastes like lemon) as a sleep aid and I’m willing to give it another few weeks, but not having the Seroquel to help me sleep at night has meant my sleep quality has basically gone back to my pre-recovery days. Unlike those days I can get to sleep fairly easily, but it’s not steady and it’s not restful.

I don’t think we actually started both the switch and the EMDR during the same appointment, but once I showed a willingness to talk about certain aspects of my clinical depressions my psychiatrist broke out the headphones and we ran with the EMDR whether the switch had happened or was about to.

It’s an interesting catch-22. The clinical depressions which I haven’t dealt with at all — ever — are keeping me from taking care of myself. Not “better care”, just a basic level of “care”.

For example, I’ve been procrastinating forever to substantially change my diet to reflect my diagnosis as having type-2 diabetes. I’ve been lying to myself for months now, like how I won’t eat dessert at my parents’ Sunday dinners, but I’ll eat a chocolate bar everyday. Or how I won’t drink Pepsi but Diet Pepsi is okay, and Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi is an even bigger lie because I’m still drinking two to three Litres of aspartame every day.

And it has been two to three Litres a day… there’s four Litres in a gallon. And instead of having meals mixed with different foods I’m still frying up three large sausages for a midnight supper.

But starting to deal with those issues, even if it’s as simple as thinking about events while holding blinking lights and wearing headphones, has left me vulnerable to attacks from myself from having never dealt with those issues.

Like how I’ve gained ten pounds in the month since the first EMDR appointment from drinking regular pop instead of diet and 2% milk instead of 1%. Then there was all the extra chocolate and the chips and ice cream and Sunday dessert and blah and blah. Since the appointment, since really looking at the events I’ve never dealt with, I have just absolutely given up on myself.

The weekend after the first EMDR appointment two weeks ago would have been the time when, if I were an alcoholic, I would’ve walked into a convenience store to buy some bottles of Listerine and grape pop. But I’m not an addict so I looked at my medications and thought “this would be so much easier to deal with if I brought the manic depression back.”.

But I took the pills.

And the most important thing is I haven’t been suicidal. I’ve punished myself, I’ve abused the inside of my body more in the past few weeks than I have since I stopped binge drinking, but I have not thought suicide would be better than living.

I have had no fantasies of people mourning at my funeral. These are the most emotional, most complicated and most damaging aspects of my clinical depressions coming forward for the first time, and I feel like I’m reacting somewhat normally.

Talking to my psychiatrist this past Friday about what I had done to myself between appointments made me think about what was going on… kind of like connecting the dots. But then I got home and over the next eight hours I drank sixteen Litres of Diet Pepsi (four gallons).

And it was the gallons of Diet Pepsi that woke me up to the damage I was doing. Early Saturday morning, as I was using the last of the pop to take my bedtime doses of Glyburide, Remeron and my Lithium, that was when I… I guess I came to a conclusion.

It seems so small, but when I woke up yesterday I threw out the last bits of unhealthy food from my fridge, and since then I’ve cooked proper diabetes-fighting meals and only had two small cans of diet pop.

It seems so small… I’ve cooked some meals. I’ve eaten fruit. I haven’t had any pop. Compared with what’s coming it just feels so small.

And there is so much to do and so many things to work out… and I’ve started and stopped eating healthy so many times, and there’s still the confused matter of how my broken sleeping patterns effect my diabetes and how I’m reacting to the recent assaults coming from the natural clinical depressions.

And most of it scares me, especially because I don’t know how I’m going to react to any of this. Watching the hockey game last night the announcer talked about how one young player moved like his father. I am not sentimental but I nearly lost it… and breaking down, which is something I will do soon, is something I have no experience with. None. The last time I cried I was eleven-years old.

And breaking down at this point feels like I’d be doing it without knowing why, or in reaction to the wrong thing… I don’t know.

I don’t know what I’m doing anymore… I’ve never had any experience with this. I think I need some really good sleep.




About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
This entry was posted in Appointment Day, Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Clinical Depression, crazy people with no pants, Diabetes, Health, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Mental Health, Sleep. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Tired Of Burning My Candle At Both Ends I Tossed It Into The Fire Now Look At Me Burn

  1. thordora says:

    I don’t cry much anymore. I used to cry all the time. And I mean all the time.

    Now, the crying is cleaner, and clearly is my body trying to rid itself of the anger, the sadness, the shame-all of it. And it feels so fucking good when it comes.

    Don’t always look for answers, or reasons. Sometimes, things just are, and need to be held, or let go off.

    And baby steps? Baby steps lead to running. You’ll get there.

    thoughts and hugs and greens. 🙂

  2. Jenny says:

    Babysteps indeed Gabe,

    And if you can’t wean yourself completely off the cola try switching to something with less caffeine. Diet lemonade or orangeade or something.

    Because all that caffeine won’t be helping your sleep at all babe. Trust me. Been there.

    When I had a problem with the drink I drank vodka and coke. I’d be awake all night (drinking even more)
    When I stopped drinking I still drank the coke and guess what? I couldn’t sleep.

    Now I drink a very occasional beer.

    But no caffeine after 4pm. I drink decaf coffee or hot chocolate or really milky “baby” tea (like wave the t-bag over the top)

    PS- I like your headline today. Reminds me of someone I used to be.

    Much love.

  3. Agreed with the baby steps theory.
    The nearing breakdown feeling is also something I’m familiar with right now, as is the sleep issue or lack thereof.

    This said, I doubt there’s much I can actually say to help. Just take as much care of y’self as poss. Hot vimto was always my anti diet coke drink x

  4. Soire says:

    I cut out soda almost a year ago – dark cola has always upset my stomach, but it’s the clear stuff that gets me. Thankfully (?) Aspartame gives me migrane, so I can’t do diet. To get myself over the hump for a while I was drinking soda water mixed with low sugar grape or pineapple juice.

    Baby steps are the only way to get anywhere near your damaged parts. You have to learn to crawl before you learn to walk.

    I hope the sandman brings you a solid night’s sleep soon.

  5. giannakali says:

    sorry you’re having such a rough time…dietary changes take time…I just think of it as a work in progress at all times….

    It’s clear you already know aspartame is not good, but thought I’d throw in that it has been associated with mood destabilization as well as psychiatric problems in general and one friend of mine’s “bipolar” disappeared when she stopped the diet drinks…

    so it’s possible that could be making you feel worse too…

    best to you.

  6. exactscience says:

    I love diet soda.

    For a very long time I tried to give it up but ultimately I was really just depriving myself of something I enjoy. Now though I ration it. A 2 litre bottle will last four days.

    As for changing your diet. Start by changing breakfast, the rest will snowball eventually.

    Sleeping – beds are for sleep and sex nothing else. No stimulants after 6pm. Leave an hour w/o TV, video games or PC use before bed. Y’know the rest already though right?

  7. bromac says:

    The eating issus are coping crutches. I do the same thing.

    The change in eating habits is a really fantastic move. That you can see the need, and gather the will, to make the change, in the midst of the depressions you are willingly, though achingly, bringing to the forefront is nothing short of amazing in my book.

    The diet changes will continue to get easier as you put more time in. You’ll begin to crave fruit and find grease unappetizing.

    As for the impending breakdown…….I’m sorry. I am sure you’re incredibly vulnerable right now. That is a super scary feeling. I absolutely loathe feeling vulnerable and will fight against the scenerio with every ounce of energy I have, alienating anyone around in the process. But you must know you’re doing a phenomenal job with this. You really are.

    Hope you get some sleep.

  8. nursemyra says:

    hang in there gabe xx

  9. aikaterine says:

    I had a similar reaction after my first couple of EMDR sessions. You have put so much energy into building up those barriers, it throws things out of wack when they are forced down. In my experience things righted themselves fairly quickly. It sounds like that is already starting with you throwing out all the junk food.

    If it matters, I am not convinced you are going to break down. EMDR was traumatic for me, but it was a fast trauma. Then things just ‘got better’. Hang in there.

  10. Gabriel... says:

    Jenny Jen Jen… it has been so long since I’ve seen your avatar on my blog. Welcome back, I’ve missed you like crazy. It’s like a reunion with you, Nurse Myra and Aikaterine all showing up on the same thread. Thanks to all three of you for the comments.

    You’re right Aik, since I wrote this post my brain actually feels like the cramps have evened out somewhat, and I’ve slept fairly well over the past two nights.

    I don’t think we have Vimto here Emma… what does it taste like?

    Tout le monde: I’m down to one can of Diet Pepsi a day, I don’t plan on ever going back to the Litres/day thing but I’ve said that before… hopefully this time it’ll stick. Why does Diet Coke suck so much? Diet 7Up isn’t too bad, but more than one can and I start to get a chemical residue in my mouth. I should try Diet Dr. Pepper again.

    I actually didn’t start drinking pop as a water substitute until I was living with my little brother back in 2002(?). One night he brought home a case of “Pepsi with Lime” but it turns out the stuff is really liquid crack. When I moved to this area in 2003/4 I put on some weight due to general inactivity, so that’s when I started with the diet pop. But even then it was very occasional because I had no money.

    It wasn’t until 2005(?) aspartame became a substantial part of my diet because being on disability gave me enough money to have something resembling a food budget. Last year I was alternating between Diet Pepsi and Club Soda mixed with a pure juice — blueberry was best. And starting this past spring I switched over to Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi while still doing the Club Soda thing.

    So the Diet Pepsi just took over again a few weeks ago. I don’t drink coffee or tea, and almost never have a regular pop, so my caffeine levels should be bottoming out soon.

    I’m still having difficulty eating at the right time, and eating the appropriate meal at the right time… like I had leftover roast pork and stuffing for breakfast on Monday, and eggs with bacon for lunch today. But I’m treating the bad eating habits the same way I did cigarettes when I quit… give in only when absolutely necessary, but otherwise resist the crap aisle at the grocery store.

    Thanks for leaving the messages of support, I’ve really needed them.

  11. nursemyra says:

    I’ve been guilty of the leftover roast for breakfast thing too

  12. Gabriel... says:

    I think I’ve decided to dedicate my life to bacon. A friend/roommate I had back in 2002 was a cook in his former life and he’d save bacon grease to use when cooking steak and roast beef. Holy crap. Next time I see my nutritionist and diabetes nurse I think I’ll ask what the consequences would be of eating bacon at every meal…

  13. john says:

    Gabe, I am right there with you in the dietary changes. When my doc diagnosed me with diabetes without evidence of elevated blood glucose, I just got pissed. I stopped my metformin and started some supplements (I am NOT suggesting this for you) and my BG has been better recently than it has in years. Most of that is due to changes in diet, eliminating the diet soda, fewer candy bars, more fresh fruit and veggies. You know the drill.

    My best to you! If you can make these changes in the midst of the emotions you also dealing with (but what choice do we have?), you can make very positive progress in your life. I’m happy for you.

    Now if I can just get my wife to get off my back about the occasional cookie or six…

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